The Best Philadelphians 2005

We were inspired by their daughter. Now we’re inspired by Liz & Jay Scott

They didn’t waste any time getting the word out: The stand was still on. Country Time put out a special-edition Alex’s Lemonade in stores around the country. The owners of Thoroughbred Afleet Alex donated some of his winnings. Kenny Gamble wrote an Alex’s Lemonade Stand theme song. But Liz and Jay knew that to meet the 2005 goal, they had to follow the simple plan Alex laid out years before: “I think we can do it if everyone has lemonade stands and sends their money in.” Liz and Jay needed help. They needed people to have their own stands. Lots of stands. Five thousand by the end of this year. And at least 1,000 on the official Alex’s Lemonade Stand weekend, June 10th through 12th.

There were about 1,100 Alex’s Lemonade Stands that weekend. At grocery stores. At restaurants. At car dealerships. At Relief Fire Company Number 3 in Burlington, New Jersey. At Ray’s Pizza in Lansdale. At Joan Shepp in Center City. In front yards in Wayne, in Malvern, in Flourtown. In Long Beach, California, and Eagle River, Alaska. In Deltona, Florida. Coal Valley, Illinois. Plano, Texas. Shorewood, Minnesota. Scarsdale, New York. And, of course, there was Alex’s Original Lemonade Stand, at Penn Wynne School. That’s where Liz and Jay spent the day. “Without Alex there,” Jay says. “It was tough.”

So far this year, Liz and Jay have raised almost $1.8 million.

“Some days I feel like, ‘Five million, that’s so much. How are we ever going to do that?” Liz says. “Most days, I feel like, How could we not?”

To make a contribution to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, go to

For the first time in Best of Philly’s 32-year history, we’re presenting a Best Philadelphian award — recognizing the biggest contributors to life in Philadelphia in the past year. Our five finalists came from reader nominations: ­Eagles head coach Andy Reid; Liz and Jay Scott, of the cancer research charity Alex’s Lemonade Stand; Rebecca Rimel, president and CEO of the Pew Charitable Trust and a force behind moving the Barnes exhibit to the Parkway; ­Sister Mary Scullion of Project H.O.M.E.; and Jonathan Newman, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board chair who’s modernizing the state’s antiquated liquor laws. All made noteworthy contributions, but in the end, none touched us — or the people of Philly — as much as the Scotts, whose courage and grace make them true heroes. — The Editors